I enjoy reality television. It’s mindless, it’s messy and it can be strategic depending on the type of competition show.
If you don’t know what Love is Blind is, it’s a reality show about finding love that streams on Netflix. A group of men and women enter “the pods”and date through a wall. As time goes on, they date less and less people. If they fall in love with someone, they can propose and if the other person says yes, they get engaged and meet each other for the first time.
After the proposals, the couple moves in together, meets each other’s family and friends, and walk down they aisle where they ultimately get married or break up. Some of them don’t get married, but date after saying “I do not” at the wedding.
There’s been three seasons of this. The first season was their peak. The second season was messy. The third season was also messy, but for different reasons. Season 3 is the most recent, so I’ll start with this one, but if I get bored one day, I’ll go back and rewatch to write about the other seasons.
The couples that got engaged this season were:
Nancy and Bartiste
Raven and SK- continued to date after the show
Zanab and Cole
Colleen and Matt-got married and are still together
Brennon and Alexa- got married and are still together
Each couple struggled with their own issues throughout the main season. Bartiste seemed to want to keep his options open and overall didn’t treat Nancy right from what was edited. Raven and SK had struggles with sex and intimacy. Cole and Zanab’s dynamic was more like a mother and son because of Cole’s immaturity. Brennon was edited to be “too gentle” in comparison to Alexa, but their dynamic seems to work. Colleen and Matt fought all the time, and Matt would walk out at every inconvenience.
After the Altar recently came out which is filmed about a year after everything happens. I want to briefly talk about the cuties situation that occurred during the reunion because it caused a lot of chatter on social media and it is honestly a piece of a bigger conversation. If you don’t know, long story short, Cole and Zanab had dinner plans. Zanab picks up two cuties to eat it because she says she hasn’t eaten all day and Cole suggests she save her appetite because she doesn’t want to get too full. At the reunion she says that he made her feel like she was never enough and that she wasn’t skinny enough, so she would barely eat anything when they were together.
My take away from this is that Cole is either pretending to be oblivious or he really hasn’t understood the impact his words and actions had on Zanab. I think Netflix showed the cuties scene for legal reasons because she brought up the situation. I think as much as we as viewers like to pretend we know everything about these people that show parts of their lives, we only see an edited piece of it and context is important. I didn’t and still don’t like how quickly people, who took sides, switched from Zanab’s side to Cole’s. I don’t like how people said Zanab standing up for herself seems forced.
I say this is part of a larger conversation, because I think as a society we struggle with seeing how mild toxicity and certain forms of abuse can be. Abuse isn’t always loud and in your face. Toxicity isn’t always screaming and yelling. I obviously only know what has been edited. I’m not saying he was abusive but their dynamic was off, maybe toxic, and they seemed incompatible. I am also saying that people are quick to dismiss women when they see situations differently from them. They’re quick to fall for men’s puppy dog eyes and innocence (whether genuine or not), especially when they’re attractive and white.
I also think that when we are in romantic relationships, especially when they’re heading towards marriage, it’s our job to be able to navigate our partner’s insecurities and triggers. It’s not up to us to assume what those insecurities are nor help heal them, necessarily. But we should be creating safe environments for them to be honest in how we could be hurting them and not do or say things that can be triggering.
I break this all down because in After the Altar, Cole, in my opinion, still didn’t get it. He tossed a cutie which felt dismissive and like a joke. He says he never thought of her as fat and says cuties have low calories. And continued on with his puppy doggish charm. It came out a few days ago by Nancy that he dated another member of the Love is Blind cast after the show ended. I would not be surprised if Cole is playing all this up and pretending to be confused about their outcome for the camera.
Overall, After the Altar was pretty uneventful. I feel like the major things that came out after weren’t thoroughly addressed and it’s hard to tell if that’s because of editing. They found a reason to all get together- Alexa’s birthday. Zanab and Cole talked. Zanab said he wasn’t a bad guy, just bad to her. Alexa and Brennon didn’t address the rumors surrounding Brennon and the assault case the came out after the season. He did address it on his Instagram though saying the case was dropped I believe. Brennon’s family took on Alexa’s faith. Her dad continued teasing him on his gentleness.
They showed us that people probably projected onto Colleen’s situation by saying she seemed scared of Matt when in reality she was probably just embarrassed and uncomfortable. They showed us Colleen and Matt still fight a lot. They showed Nancy still healing and finally being done with having Bartiste in her life, even just as a friend. They addressed why her family got so upset at their wedding. Because duh they love her.
It came out a few months ago by the woman that SK was allegedly cheating on Raven with (or allegedly cheating with Raven, I don’t even know forreal) and that he claimed that he was only doing the show for money. It’s unclear if Raven was in on it or not. She could’ve been. She could’ve been blindsided. I think if she knew about it, she didn’t know the whole story.
They showed SK and Raven still dating and getting an apartment together. Then showed SK’s proposal to Raven, which they added ended months later. They showed a video of Raven talking to the camera about how she felt betrayed and that was the end.
I think Netflix leaves too much time in between filming, editing, and showing the content for this show. There was so much chatter this season outside of the actual season and they didn’t delve much into it when some of it is relative to their relationships which they want us to be invested in. And no, we don’t have to know everything, but it would’ve been nice to see more of those things addressed. It would also be nice if what we saw was linear.
Love is blind kind of has become a way for people to build their brands and businesses and if they’re lucky, they find love or a lesson in who they end up with. I will still be tuning in but I doubt they will ever top the first season because now people know what to expect and what will come from it.